Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Infected bats pose highest rabies risk in US: CDC

Infected bats are the leading cause of rabies deaths in the United States, according to a report released Wednesday by health authorities which found the risk posed by dogs had significantly fallen.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Dog-human cooperation is based on social skills of wolves

Dogs are man's best friend and partner. The origins of this dog-human relationship were subject of a study by behavioural scientists from the Messerli Research Institute at the Vetmeduni Vienna and the Wolf Science Center. ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Researchers assess risks regarding Ebola and pets

The likelihood of a domestic dog or cat being exposed to the Ebola virus through contact with infected persons in Europe is very low, as affected persons are typically isolated promptly.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Can dogs transmit Ebola?

Following the uproar over the killing of an Ebola patient's dog in Spain, experts said on Thursday there was a risk of canines carrying the deadly virus but none that they could infect humans.

Psychology & Psychiatry

Explainer: What is cute aggression?

Humans respond to cute. Show us just about any little critter with a big round head and a pair of large, blinking-in-the-headlights eyes and cooing will ensue.

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Dog

The dog (Canis lupus familiaris, pronounced /ˈkeɪ.nis ˈluːpəs fʌˈmɪliɛəris/) is a domesticated subspecies of the Gray Wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The domestic dog has been one of the most widely kept working and companion animals in human history. Amongst canine enthusiasts, the word "dog" may also mean the male of a canine species, as opposed to the word "bitch."

The dog quickly became ubiquitous across culture in all parts of the world, and was extremely valuable to early human settlements. For instance, it is believed that the successful emigration across the Bering Strait might not have been possible without sled dogs. Dogs perform many roles for people, such as hunting, herding, protection, and, more recently, assisting handicapped individuals. Currently, there are estimated to be 400 million dogs in the world.

Over the 15,000 year span that the dog had been domesticated, it diverged into only a handful of landraces, groups of similar animals whose morphology and behavior have been shaped by environmental factors and functional roles. As the modern understanding of genetics developed, humans began to intentionally breed dogs for a wide range of specific traits. Through this process, the dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds, and shows more behavioral and morphological variation than any other land mammal. For example, height measured to the withers ranges from a few inches in the Chihuahua to a few feet in the Irish Wolfhound; color varies from white through grays (usually called "blue'") to black, and browns from light (tan) to dark ("red" or "chocolate") in a wide variation of patterns; coats can be short or long, coarse-haired to wool-like, straight, curly, or smooth. It is common for most breeds to shed this coat, but non-shedding breeds are also popular.

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